By May 27, 2008

Tethered Verizon Wireless EVDO data speeds

I am up against an interesting problem here at work. They don’t allow access to instant messaging services, Web email, social networking sites, or gaming sites. It makes hard for me to take a mental break every once in awhile, and I have felt very disconnected from my online friends and previous co-workers.

I’ve explored ways to get around the network limitations. I purchased a new phone, the Verizon xv6900 (known elsewhere as the HTC Touch) to handle email. I can also sign onto AIM for instant messaging, but the lack of a hardware keyboard makes IMing kind of a pain in the ass.

There is an “unauthorized” open 802.11 wireless access point here at work. There are a few problems with using this full-time, however. One is that it is, well open. I trust in SSL to encrypt my traffic, but not everywhere I visit is behind the HTTPS protocol. The other drawback is that if I am on the open network I can’t get my work-related email, or be logged into our work-specific instant messaging system. I want to multi-home, and this isn’t possible with my current hardware setup.

There was also the option of using the phone as a wireless modem via Verizon’s high speed EVDO network. After fucking around with the phone and my work laptop off and on for a week, I finally got it working today.

Here are my speed and latency results.

I used the speed test available at I tested my EVDO connection and the unsecured wireless access point connection. I selected test servers in North Carolina, Washington, DC, and Maryland.

Average EVDO speed: 945 kbs down, 121 kbs up
Average wireless speed: 7038 kbs down, 3330 kbs up

I have posted the results from each server below, but it’s obvious that EVDO isn’t a “broadband replacement.” My home FIOS connection smashed both of these networks to bits, but even if I was “just” on cable I wouldn’t be impressed with EVDO. There is a faster EVDO Rev. A network being rolled out slowly, but even then will it be enough of a bump to make a difference compared to other high-speed offerings?

Anyway, that’s not really the point of my particular use case. I’m not trying to get rid of my FIOS connection and replace it with VZW’s $60/month EVDO connection. EVDO is fast enough to get onto Gibberish or upload and download a few pictures. I would prefer it if the latency was less, but what can you do?

I asked my manager to push for a policy change on our Internet access, at least within our Web Strategy team. I think part of the reason our Web presence sucks so much is that the people who are in charge of shaping, designing, and building that presence have no idea what is going on professionally and socially with the Web. Until then, I’m going to fool around a little more with tethered EVDO access.

Here are the individual results:


Greensboro, NC

Washington, DC

Frederick, MD


Greensboro, NC

Washington, DC

Frederick, MD

Posted in: gibberish, technology

3 Comments on "Tethered Verizon Wireless EVDO data speeds"

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  1. Configures says:

    Nobody seems to IM at my new job, and they’re very against our using our client-supplied hardware (i.e., our desktops and laptops) for non-work purposes, so I’m not going to be using my workstation for gaming, that’s for sure. I’m getting used to using SharePoint — at least that allows for internal forums and blogs.

    Soon I will probably have to leave my retro dialup days behind, when I get a laptop and go on 24/7 support rotation. Alas, FIOS has not yet hit my fair city, though I believe they came to an agreement with Verizon at last about who’s paying for what. I was hoping to wait until that was available.

    Are you still doing much text messaging? I’ve thought about upgrading to a new phone that does predictive (type-ahead, not just the puny kind my phone does) texting, or getting one with a mini-keyboard. I think my phone still has about a year of contract left, though,so inertia will probably rule.

  2. drfaulken says:

    I sent and received 2600 text messages last month, which is a little bit less than average. I am able to admin Gibberish and respond to comments and email via my new HTC Touch phone. I wish Verizon carried the HTC Touch Duo (same phone but with a slide-out hardware keyboard) but I am getting used to the touch screen.

  3. Bond says:

    How does one design a website presence without internet access? I’m 100% confused. If I had no access, my job would be almost undoable.